Noora Taipale

Noora Taipale

Role within the project

Within EVO-HAFT, Noora Taipale is performing a doctoral research on the variability of hafting within the Upper Palaelolithic in Europe


I  graduated from the University of Helsinki (Finland) in 2012, and have been focusing on lithic analysis in my studies since 2009. I learned functional analysis of quartz tools and prepared my master’s thesis under the supervision of Kjel Knutsson at Uppsala University (Sweden). Prior coming to Liège, I have been involved in several field projects, mainly in Finland, including a project dedicated to the earliest postglacial settlement in the eastern part of the country. My PhD work offers me an opportunity to gain experience in functional analysis of flint and flint-like rocks as well as in Palaeolithic archaeology. Above all it allows me to use lithic functional analysis as a way to address general questions about technological strategies and their development through time.



The development of stone tool hafting is one of the most relevant aspects of technological evolution in the Palaeolithic. Hafted tools are more complicated to produce than non-hafted tools since their manufacture requires the use of several raw materials, more varied know-how, and more time. Therefore recognising them in an archaeological assemblage is of interest to anyone who wishes to understand the cognitive capacities and the organisation of tasks in prehistoric populations. My PhD work focuses on the variability in stone tool hafting and use in the Gravettian and Magdalenian of Central and Western Europe, and takes place in the framework of the ERC-funded project Evolution of stone tool hafting in the Palaeolithic, led by Dr. Veerle Rots. The archaeological sites included in my study are the cave site Hohle Fels (SW Germany), the open-air site Maisières-Canal (Belgium), and the rock shelter Abri Pataud (SW France). By concentrating on the main tool categories, I first aim at identifying the range of activities performed at the sites, and subsequently sample the collections to get a more detailed view of tool use and hafting in each archaeological context.

The method I use is a combination of low magnification and high magnification use-wear analysis. My work also involves small-scale experimentation to address specific questions raised by the assemblages included in the study. I am especially interested in utilising the potential of the so-called domestic tools (such as scrapers and burins) as a source material in the study of technology and its evolution. I believe that these tools, often left in the shadow of projectiles in lithic studies, offer a convenient source material for understanding the links between lithic technology and the use of other raw materials, and can also help us understand task planning and organisation. They are numerous at almost all Upper Palaeolithic sites, and therefore allow for comparisons across vast geographical regions and long periods of time. By combining data on tools used for subsistence and manufacture/maintenance activities, I hope to contribute to models of long-term technological change as well as to an improved understanding of causes behind lithic assemblage variability.



Noora Taipale
PhD Student
Liege University
Quai Roosevelt, 1B (Bât. A4)
4000 Liège (BELGIUM)
Tel. +32 (0)4 366 58 40
Fax +32 (0)4 366 55 51

  • Justin Coppe & Noora Taipale
Show Buttons
Hide Buttons